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Unlike most top Argentine footballers, the early years of Samuel's development came at the modest Club Atletico Firmat, a small club in the city of Rosario. Evidently, one of the regions top clubs Newell's Old boys snapped him up rapidly and gave him his debut at just 18 years old. It took just one season for him to display his strength and character and that was enough for Boca Juniors, devastating in South America at this time, to sign him as a central defender in their team.
'The Wall' as he became known as for the Argentine outfit, had two years at the top level in Buenos Aires but Roma came with a tantalising offer of €18 million and took him to the Calcio. At the Stadio Olimpico he had his greatest time as a professional winning the Scudetto in 2001 and establishing himself as one of the best central defenders in the world.
This form earned him a move to Madrid to wear the famous white shirt at the Santiago Bernabeu but sadly, through injuries and a lack of understanding at the back, saw his time there end badly as doubts arose over his true ability. He always defended himself, stressing that he was a strong, hard central defender, with little movement, which perhaps in a league like Spain highlighted his weaknesses.
He never reached his highest level and returned to Italy after one year, signing for Inter where he did not begin well but with hard work has established himself as a regular. He is always an ever presence for Maradona.
Did you know?
His name was Walter Lujan and he played his first few seasons with this name but a problem with his father lead to him changing his name to Walter Samuel.
Under 20 World Cup: 1997
Apertura & Clausura: 1998, 1999
Copa Libertadores: 2000
Serie A: 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009
Supercopa Italia: 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2008
Copa Italia: 2006
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